15th – 18th October 2017
Tel: 0207 251 0045
First run in 2016, this exploration of North Wales takes in the country houses of Plas Newydd, with its Rex Whistler mural and ponderous Penrhyn Castle along with the other castles of Bodelwyddan, an out-station of the National Portrait Gallery and medieval Caernarvon, not to mention the eccentric village of Port Meirion.
Nicholas will give talks on Rex Whistler and on the architect Clough Williams-Ellis.
Your Hotel: St George’s Hotel at Llandudno
With its Victorian Pier and a swathe of smooth sand, this visit will introduce you to some perhaps unfamiliar Welsh landmarks.
Price: From £649 for three nights
To book please contact Travel Editions on 0207 251 0045 or visit www.traveleditions.co.uk/tour/Country-Houses-of-North-Wales
Arrive independently at the St George’s Hotel from 15.00 and enjoy afternoon tea. This evening there will be a welcome reception, dinner with wine and talk by Nicholas – ‘Rex Whistler, the Artist who went to War’.
First visit of the day is to Plas Newydd, Anglesey, stately home of the Marquess of Anglesey, which enjoys spectacular views over the Menai Straits to the Snowdon range beyond. This panorama is vividly evoked in the dining room where Rex Whistler’s romanticised landscape is an example of his rich and nostalgic style. The grounds, thanks to the benign climate, are rich in colours throughout the year. Also to be seen is the Military Museum recalling the exploits of the first marquess who lost his leg at the Battle of Waterloo. Afternoon visit to Penrhyn Castle, an enormous house built in Neo-Norman style by the Douglas-Pennant family who were enormously rich thanks to the quantities of slate which they quarried from the Penrhyn Quarry. To a fine collection of paintings is added bizarre furniture designed to fill the gargantuan rooms; there is even a bed made of slate. Dinner this evening will be at the hotel.
Today we visit Plas Mawr, a unique Elizabethan town house built from 1576 by the Wynn family. Now immaculately restored by the Welsh heritage agency, it is “the finest surviving town house of the Elizabethan era”. Some free time in the ancient walled town of Conwy before heading to Bodelwyddan Castle, a wildly dramatic fake castle dating from the 1830’s which now houses in its restored rooms an outpost off the National Portrait Gallery. Finally to the ‘Marble Church’, a staggering gleaming white church, erected in 1860 in memory of Lord Willoughby de Broke, a monument to Victorian piety. Dinner this evening will be at the hotel.
Our last day of touring takes us to Caernarfon Castle, a World Heritage site, and one of the castles built by Edward I. It was here that the Prince of Wales was invested as Prince of Wales in 1969. Finally to the 70-acre architectural folly of Portmeirion that is the eccentric creation of the Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis incorporating fragments of architecture rescued by its creator. Return to the hotel for about 18.00.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager’s discretion.
Please note: Extra nights are available at a supplement. The maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.